THIS year has been an incredibly busy one for Cork poet and author Daragh Fleming, including the publication of his first two chapbooks of poetry.
“My first chapbook was published in February by Bottlecap Press, and the second, Poems That Were Written On Trains But Weren’t Written About Trains was released this month,” he tells The Echo.
“The latest, you’ll be surprised to learn, was written primarily on trains in their first drafts.”
The chapbook consists of 19 poems, and tracks a nine-week trip through Europe towards the end of 2021.
“The idea was tell a story using the poems as the medium,” Darragh explains. “This small collection addresses wanderlust, falling in love, falling out of love, and the desire to seek familiarity and a sense of self in the unknown.”
Daragh, a Glounthaune native, combines his literary career with work as Digital Content Lead for mental health charity A Lust For Life and writes regularly for the charity’s website and for HeadStuff.org. He also has two collections of short stories published by Riversong Books; The Book of Revelations (2019) and If You Are Reading This Then Drink Water (2020).
Another recent success was winning From The Well, the annual short story competition organised by Cork County Library and Arts Service, in 2021. Cork is well known for its thriving literary scene, something Daragh believes is a source of inspirations for up-and-coming writers.
“I think I’m definitely involved now, more so than ever,” he says. “The thing about the Cork writing scene, and the Irish writing scene in general, is that everyone is sincerely encouraging.
“I was given the opportunity to read some of my work at the Rebound Arts Festival here in the city last Spring, which allowed me to bump elbows with local writers like Lucy Holme, Patrick Holloway, and Eimear Ryan.
“There’s such a rich culture here of fanning the flames that it is difficult to not be motivated and inspired.
“Then of course, you have events like The West Cork Literary Festival which took place this month, again another place to showcase work and listen to established writers. You have the festivals, the many budding literary journals here in Cork such as Swerve, The Four Faced Liar, HOWL and Bealtaine, as well reading events like Fiction at the Friary, O Bhéal and Limesquare Poets.
“It’s safe to say there is a wide range of places writers can go to be inspired and receive much needed encouragement.”
Later this year, Daragh will be adding yet another string to his bow with the publication of a non-fiction collection. But first, a trip to the continent is on the cards.
“Next up for me is a week long writers’ residency in Olut, Spain, in October to work on a collection of short stories and deliver a workshop,” Daragh says.
“After that, I’ll be back in Cork for the launch of my debut non-fiction book, a collection of essays on mental health called Lonely Boy published by BookHub Publishing of Galway.”
Sounds like the second half of the year is set to be just as busy as the first for this prolific young talent.
Poems That Were Written On Trains But Weren’t Written About Trains is available at www.bookdepository.com. Lonely Boy is due for release on November 10, and will be launched in Cork on the same day.